Almost Phenomenal

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 8
Helpful Votes: 181

Overall rating:

4.6 out of 5
Norwegian Epic

7 Night Southern Caribbean (San Juan Roundtrip)

Sail date: March 08, 2020

Ship: Norwegian Epic

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 11274

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

This was our 9th NCL cruise since 2016. We only booked this back in early February 2020 due to the low price (even lower a week + after we booked), but mainly for the itinerary that was awesome. We are a glass half-full couple that make the best of our time off while on vacation. NCL really makes our decision to continue using them in the future more and more each cruise we take with them.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
There were a lot of timeframe issues on arrival starting from 12:00, 1:00 or 3:30. We arrived at 1:00 and took full advantage of our Platinum status by getting checked in right away (after temp check), securing POSH passes, dinner reservations and grabbing some wings in O'Sheehan's.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
We enjoyed each meal while eating 5 specialty dinners with our least favorite at La Cucina due to the 1.5 hour (2-course) meal with snail slow service. Other than that, we had great meals in the MDRs for dinner (2 nights) and breakast almost daily at Taste. Service was friendly and attentive.

Garden Cafe

4 out of 5

A bit chaotic for breakfast, especially when the staff had to do the serving, but they did so with a smile on their face. The "crispy" bacon is the best, as are any omelet you can get freshly made.

Taste

4 out of 5

Great breakfast with a nice variety of assorted options to choose from. I enjoyed the salmon bagel (order 2) as you only get 1 half of a bagel. The wife normally had eggs benedict or over easy eggs, done perfectly each time. Would be 5 stars but service was pretty slow each morning, but was friendly and attentive.

Teppanyaki

5 out of 5

HUGE portions, great show and humorous chef that made for a nice dinner. If you are concerned about your salt intake, just tell the chef to hold off or limit the soy sauce. I had the seafood (scallops, shrimp and calamari) cooked just with butter, garlic and lemon, while my wife I had the Filet mignon (no soy sauce). A wonderful meal.

Cagney's Steakhouse

5 out of 5

Excellent service, great steaks (Filet mignon and Ribeye) with wonderful and tasty sides.

Le Bistro

5 out of 5

A fantastic meal with superior service. The French Onion soup is superb, as is the filet (get the sauce on the side) and the veal medallions were unctuous and very tender.

La Cucina Italian Restaurant

3 out of 5

Normally, we really enjoy La Cucina, but on this cruise the service was really lacking the normal Grade A service as in the past. It took 1.5 hours for just 2 courses, as we skipped dessert to get to the Beatles Tribute. We heard there was a shortage of help in this restaurant, thus the delay.

Shanghai's Chinese Restaurant

3 out of 5

Tasty but small portions with an overwhelming salty taste in most dishes.

O'Sheehans Neighborhood Bar and Grill

5 out of 5

Great wings, hot dogs and excellent service. Oh yeah, the Brownie Cheesecake will satisfy any late night craving.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5

Posh Beach Club

5 out of 5

We were fortunate to get 2 of the 20 passes that were available to non-Haven passengers, and it was well worth the $59 pp price for the duration of the cruise. Especially since we enjoyed an extra 2 days at sea from Puerto Rico to Port Canaveral resulting from the PR Port closing and our rerouting. Comfy lounge chairs, private bar and bathrooms were great, as was Ana (our bartender), and Manoon (bar staff). Only downside - no hot tub, like in The Vibe.

Entertainment

5 out of 5

Bliss Ultra Lounge

3 out of 5

Not as good as on other NCL ships

Epic Theatre

5 out of 5

Burn the Floor was fantastic and provided a nice, entertaining 45 minute experience. We enjoyed the Epic Beatles as well, along with the magician. We skipped Priscilla as we've seen it in the past and we had no desire to see it again.

Headliners Comedy Club

5 out of 5

The 3 musicians for Howl at the Moon are superb. They are excellent musicians and give a great comedic show as well.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
From each NCL employee we passed in the room level hallways, to the bartenders, dining room staff, and the Behind the Scene presenters, to include our fantastic room steward (Irvin), Ana in Posh and even the Guest Sevice desk who did their best to work with us and other passengers to make phone calls, etc one the ship was rerouted- thank you!

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
The staff of NCL Epic went above and beyond to create a safe and healthy, hygienic environment for all passengers. The ship is beautiful, nicely layed out, easily maneuverable and provides plenty of places to hang out.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
We were upgraded to this accessible room, but neither my wife or I have any ADA issues. The room is huge but did not have a couch, which was okay as it wasn't needed. There are 2 closets and plenty of cubby and drawers for anyone (even those who overpack). The toilet/shower are 1 big area and, although we did our best to slow the shower runoff, it was not preventable.

Ship tip

Enjoy each and every moment. We did a behind the scenes tour and the staff of NCL work their tails off to make sure you will have a great time. Not everything will go smoothly, but just be "kind" when it doesn't.

Ports of call

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

5 out of 5
With excursion credit, we did the skyway ride that is just across the ship port and is but a short walk. The views are incredible and drinks are great as well. Afterwards, we took an open air cab ($8 pp) to Magen's Bay Beach, which we have been to prior. This is also an incredible beach and has been rated a Top 10 beach in the world.

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

5 out of 5
We booked an excursion on our own via Kuralu Too, that included 2 snorkel stops and about 3.5 hours to Jost Van Dyke to one of the most amazing beaches we've ever seen. The Soggy Dollar Bar on JVD is a must visit to grab a few Painkillers that go down smooth and aren't that expensive ($7). The Mahi Mahi sandwich is incredible as well.

St. John's, Antigua

5 out of 5
We opted to do our own excursion to Blue Waters Resort (15 minutes from ship) where we spent $65 pp to have access fro 10:00 until we left at atound 3:45. You can also book an all-inclusive (food/drink) for $150 pp. FYI - NCL wants $349 pp for the all-Inclusive. It costs us $18 total for the cab. This resort is truly amazing and this was the best $65 pp we spent. You will need to book it directly via calling the resort.

Castries, St. Lucia

5 out of 5
Did Land/Sea tour via NCL that took us along the twisty/turny roads in St. Lucia with a few stops along the way to see the Pitons and magnificent water views below. We boarded a Catamaran for amazing views of the Pitons and coastline of St. Lucia on our way back to the ship.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

4 out of 5
We enjoyed our 1.5 days prior to the cruise during our stay at Caribe Hilton (fantastic), tour of El Yunque rainforest, touring the forts and walking atound Old San Juan. We were pissed, however, that the Puerto Rico port was closed just a few hours from our arrival to depart on Sunday, 3/15, but we thoroughly enjoyed the 2 extra cruise days.

Bridgetown, Barbados

5 out of 5
Took drive via NCL to Carlisle Bay Beach and it was fantastic, and is one of the prettiest beaches you'll ever see.

Disembarkation

3 out of 5
With our rerouting fro Puerto Rico to Port Canaveral, we had no idea what was going to happen until just shortly before we were allowed off the ship. There wre people that got in line at 6:30 am for a port arrival at 10:00, only to have an extensive amount of people get ahead of them due to the staff not having any real idea or direction about what needed to be done. We got in line around 9:00 and were fortunate to be some of the first group of people off. Walking through Border Patrol was easy as all we did was hold our passport up by our face and went through without question or having to have completed any paperwork.
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